Red, White, and Very Blue

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

I’m sinking into what I think is a depression since the election. There
are so many things that have been done to undermine the country
that I love. Each day brings a need for more phone calls, more post
cards, more petitions to sign, etc. How can I not drown under the
weight of all that I feel is needed?

Red, White, and Very Blue

Dear Very Blue:

The weight of this nation does not rest on your shoulders alone. Yes it
is important for each of us to make our voice heard, regardless of the
issue or one’s opinion about it. But that’s not all our lives should be
about or the people you oppose have already won. You need to stay
emotionally and spiritually healthy in order to remember that the very
values you are fighting for form the basis of a healthy life. That has to
include time for family, work, exercise, and even some leisure time as
well as activism, or you will burn out much too soon. If you intend to
sign petitions, make phone calls, etc, you will need to have that
become as much a part of your life as brushing your teeth. But it
should not drag you into malaise.

Set a daily schedule for your activism that includes 5-30 minutes of
time. Try to avoid doing this just before bed lest you mess up your
sleep schedule with anxiety. Yes a sense of hopeless is a natural
response to what is going on. But if you let it sink any possibility of
optimism you are setting yourself up for much worse problems than
who is running your government. Find some friends who are going
through similar feelings and set up a regular support group to channel
your emotions into concrete action. This should help energize you and
help you out of your slump.